Immaculate Conception Has Been Blessed With Growth
It’s amazing how our faith community continues to grow, not only with those retiring to the area, but also with younger families putting down roots and seeking community at Immaculate Conception.
Over the past 10 years we’ve seen our numbers growing in a variety of areas:
Weekend Masses have gone from 4 to 6
The number of parish ministries has grown to 113
In 2008, we had 244 students enrolled in Faith Formation. In 2018, we have 440
The number of RCIA classes has doubled
In 2008, Life Teen (high school youth group) and Edge (middle school youth group) did not exist. Today we have 96 and 131 students (respectively) participating in those essential programs
Immaculata Catholic School Growth
92 years ago, Immaculata Catholic School was started by a small group of nuns and classes were held out of a house near Buncombe Street. 60 years ago, our present school was built. Over this time, ICS has served as our biggest evangelistic tool in the Hendersonville community with enrollment many times split almost 50/50 between Catholics and Protestants!
Today, Principal Meredith Canning and the school board have met or exceeded its budget goals and the Diocese remains fully committed to its success.
With Growth Comes Challenge
While this growth gives us a chance to live our mission in many new ways, it also puts a strain on our available physical spaces. Many ministries are forced to meet off of our parish campus due to insufficient meeting space. Meeting spaces are sometimes occupied until after midnight to meet space needs. Administrative staff is housed in space originally designed as storage closets. A significant part of our parish growth has come from families and youth. In fact, our school buildings, which house many ministry meetings in addition to our Catholic School, have received no upgrades since they were constructed over 50 years ago.
With this in mind, it’s essential that the school building itself receive some loving care, upgrades and necessary safety upgrades. An engineering study was conducted on ICS revealing that NO insulation exists in the current walls. Our students often have to wear sweatshirts and jackets in the winter or struggle with the heat of late and early summer, making learning more difficult.
Your gift to this campaign can help us make the following critical school improvements.
Improve safety by:
• Adding surveillance cameras, secure windows and secondary egress doors
• Secure the entrances and the receptionist and principal’s office • Building a covered path between the school and gym
• Bring our bathrooms to ADA compliance Modernize the school façade and energy efficiency by:
• Replacing all exterior windows and upgrading the front of the school
• Upgrading our HVAC equipment, boiler and lighting
• Insulating our interior and exterior walls
With Challenge Comes Opportunity
Our parish has long been blessed with people of compassion and action. The finance, facilities and parish administration committees, as well as our school board, have been discussing these challenges for some time. Just last year, an engineering and construction cost analysis was actually completed for the school. Some of these groups were gathering data around the growing challenge of satisfying our meeting space
Four months ago, Fr. Martin was meeting with several members of the Diocese discussing our growth and needs. As the group walked down 6th Avenue toward downtown, a man was placing a For Sale sign on the Biz 611 building adjacent to the church. The Lord does speak if we only listen. A few phone calls later, the building’s owner (who has always had a place in his heart for Immaculate Conception) agreed to sell the building to us under his asking price and well under true market value.
Meanwhile, Principal Meredith Canning attended a Diocesan meeting in Charlotte where the new safety standards for our Diocesan schools were introduced. Since these standards must be met, this presents us with the opportunity to make these improvements and other necessary updates to the school. Again...the Lord opens the door for us to do what must be done to ensure that future generations of young people will be able to receive a Catholic education in a safe environment conducive to learning.
Opportunity Requires Action
The leadership of our Diocese, clergy and parish have given much prayerful consideration on a plan of action that includes a capital campaign of $2.5 Million.
The capital campaign funds will be expended as follows:
$1.5 Million – Pay back the Diocese for the monies used to purchase Biz 611 (renamed the St. Joseph Center)
$1.0 Million – To fund the engineering and construction to bring Immaculata Catholic School up to current building codes and up to the required safety specifications for Catholic Schools
Our diocesan leadership has worked with our parish leadership to review both our growth needs and our parish capacity to raise funds. All are in agreement that a $2.5 Million campaign is well within our reach, given our parish census numbers and offertory budget.
As a member of our church family, will you respond to the opportunity for action?
To help expand our FAITH
Allow our ministries and outreach to continue to grow with adequate meeting space
To help our parish GROW
Attract new families and children that want a faith-based education
Allow our ministries to continue their outreach to parishioners and our community
To deepen our roots HERE
Ensure that our children learn in a suitable
and safe environment